US House To Hold Hearing For AM Radio Preservation


    One day after AM radio’s success on Capitol Hill received rousing applause at the NAB Show, the US House of Representatives is advancing the bipartisan legislative push to mandate AM in cars with an upcoming hearing, led by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    The hearing, “Draft Legislation to Preserve Americans’ Access to AM Radio,” is scheduled for April 30 and will be led by Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ). The hearing aims to address concerns about automakers potentially omitting AM radio in new cars, particularly as these radios are crucial during emergencies when other communication networks may fail.

    In a joint statement, Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Pallone emphasized the importance of AM radio, saying, “Communities across the country, especially rural communities, rely on AM radio service for critical information. It plays an essential role during public emergencies when other alert systems that rely on the electric grid and cellphone networks don’t work, which is why it’s so alarming that some auto manufacturers are considering not installing AM radios in new cars. We look forward to working together to preserve Americans’ access to this vital source of information.”

    The House version of the bill, HR 3413, has 245 total sponsors and is led by New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer. According to NAB President Curtis LeGeyt, the Senate version of the bill is almost to the magic, filibuster beating number of sixty sponsors, while only 48 have been formally announced so far.

    LeGeyt, who has led the charge within the industry for the past year, commented, “NAB is deeply grateful to Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Ranking Member Frank Pallone for their continued leadership in safeguarding continued access to AM radio in new cars. With 82 million monthly listeners, AM radio is the backbone of the Emergency Alert System and serves as a trusted source of factual news and diverse programming in communities across the country.”

    “Local broadcasters look forward to continue working with Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers, Ranking Member Pallone and all committee members to ensure this critical communications medium remains accessible to listeners across the country.”


    1. I hope that whoever testifies suggests that the bill should also direct the FCC to enforce existing RFI rules and research what else is required to ensure AM remains usable to the public for the reasons given.

      I wanted to buy some low wattage USB chargers online. Only about 1 in 50 claimed to be FCC compliant. Multiply that problem across product categories and you have a problem as significant as the loss of AM in cars.

    2. Is it about time for the NAB-the RAB and any other “B” consortium to get together and decide on which direction to go. Should archaic technology be put aside in favor of existing technology (FM) that in many cases is superior? Granted, FM doesn’t have the long distance reach of AM, but it isn’t affected by the massive amounts of RFI destroying AM radio. Investment in AM properties has been huge, but the return has been diminishing for decades. Broadcast radio is still free, still accessible in case of power failures and still reliable. That’s true for FM as well as AM, and FM is well populated with mass appeal formats and easy to locate stations for more people than AM. Countries like Canada have sunset AM radio stations, even big ones -and it should be something that The USA should consider.

    3. This is awesome, but why focus seemingly on just AM Radio? I have to wonder why the NAB or the large corporate radio isn’t focusing on enabling FM chips in cell phones? I’m hoping this is the next chapter with Congress.


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